Unit 1: Introduction to the Art of Spiritual Direction (UD code DD8202W)

This unit introduces the Ministry of Spiritual Direction in theory and in practice and provides a context in which to test a sense of call to this ministry. The seminars include teaching on the history of the tradition, characteristics of the ministry, common misconceptions, issues of discernment, human experience of God, important psychological considerations, development of listening skills and growth in prayer and faith.

Students have regular practice in both giving and receiving spiritual direction and the opportunity to reflect on this experience. In addition, they participate regularly in personal and peer group supervision sessions. Two written assignments and a number of written verbatims are required.

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

Pre-requisites:

  • Students need to have been in spiritual direction themselves for at least six months prior to commencing the course.
  • In addition, students need to have some sense of call to this ministry.

Completion of the Art of Contemplative Practice is also strongly recommended.


Unit 2: The Art of Spiritual Direction (UD code DD8203W)

This unit extends the work done in the previous level. Teaching seminars cover mysticism, sexuality and spirituality, culture and religious diversity, listening,  discernment and psychological considerations. This unit also includes a city street retreat experience.

The experience of giving and receiving spiritual direction is continued at a deeper level. Supervision – personal and in peer groups – remains a significant aspect of the training. Two written assignments and a number of written verbatims are required.

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

Pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of Unit 1.
  • Recommendation from formation leaders of the course regarding proceeding to this level.
  • Receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Minimum of two people coming for spiritual direction.

Unit 3: The Art of Spiritual Direction (UD code DD9204W)

The course involves five 2-day gatherings throughout the year. There are also monthly peer supervision group work and personal supervision sessions scheduled outside these times.

Teaching seminars continue to develop listening skills, growth in prayer, discernment, psychological considerations, spiritual accompaniment, the holding environment and converging.

Each participant chooses an elective research project and studies it during the year. One 8,000 word essay on the research topic is required, along with written verbatim reports.

At a final intensive workshop, students give a presentation of their papers to the group for reflection and discussion.

Pre-requisites:

  • Successful completion of Unit 2.
  • Recommendation from formation leaders of the course regarding proceeding to this level.
  • Receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Minimum of four people coming for spiritual direction.

Unit 4: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Post-Course Year)

This is a post-course year of personal and peer supervision and professional development seminars, and is an essential part of the program, although it is deliberately set within a post-graduate context. This provides generous support in the first year of ministry, aims to establish collegiality with peers and the wider community of WellSpring directors, and establishes ongoing personal and professional development. We encourage graduates to join one of the Australian Spiritual Direction Associations and thus become part of the wider community of Australian Directors.


Coordinator of Formation Studies: Rev. Dr Peter Bentley

Peter works with an ecumenical formation team of teachers, supervisors and other professionals who are experienced spiritual directors. Together they bring a creative and balanced approach to this ministry. Numbers are limited at all levels to allow maximum participation. University of Divinity accreditation for these units is available to those doing post-graduate degrees in Ministry or Spiritual Direction.

For more information, please email Rosanne Arnott, or call Rosanne on 0439 389 829 or Peter Bentley on 0413 736 889.


Course for 2018

Dates for 2018:

  • Friday 23 and Saturday 24 March (9am to 5pm at WellSpring, Ashburton) AND
  • Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May (9am to 5pm at WellSpring, Ashburton) AND
  • Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July (9am to 5pm at WellSpring, Ashburton) AND
  • Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September (9am to 5pm at WellSpring, Ashburton) AND
  • Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October (9am to 5pm at WellSpring, Ashburton)

NB: Class size (minimum and maximum number of students) is designed to facilitate optimal participation.

Step 1:

Please click here to complete the WellSpring application form for The Art of Spiritual Direction. Applications for 2018 close on Friday 17 November 2017.

Step 2:

Following receipt of your application, we will make a time with you for an interview with two members of our Discernment Team in the second half of November or early December 2017. The Discernment Team will then gather together in early December to prayerfully consider all applications, and we will contact you by mid-December with the outcome of your application for 2018.

Step 3:

If you are invited to enter the Art of Spiritual Direction I in 2018, you can decide whether to enrol in the unit for academic credit, or to audit the unit.

Enrolment for academic credit:

This unit may count towards a post-graduate degree in Theology through Whitley College.

Students who enrol through University of Divinity may be eligible for FEE-Help to cover course fees.

Costs are as per University of Divinity schedule (Units 1, 2 and 3 of Art of Spiritual Direction are each a 30-point/full-year post-graduate unit, with the three units completed over three consecutive years.

If you already a student with the University of Divinity, contact the registrar at your own RTI (Recognised Teaching Institution) to arrange enrolment.

Contacts for New Students:
Gary Heard
Coursework Coordinator
Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
Email: gheard@whitley.unimelb.edu.au
Dorothy Morgan
Registrar
Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
Email: registrar@whitley.unimelb.edu.au
Auditing:

There is also the option of auditing this unit at a reduced cost.

Auditing costs for 2018 are yet to be confirmed.

Students who audit the course are encouraged to complete the written tasks to gain full benefit of the course, but they do not receive academic credit.

Contact:

Dorothy Morgan
Registrar, Whitley College
Ph: (03) 9340 8000
Email: registrar@whitley.unimelb.edu.au

An invoice for the auditing fees will be sent to you for payment prior to the beginning of the course.

Auditing costs for 2018 are still to be confirmed.